College Of Arts And Sciences | Utopias
E103 | 0105 | Hanson
What would an ideal society be like? How would its members relate to one another and
to the physical world? Would the ideal state impose any unwelcome restraints or require
any personal sacrifices? Is there an inevitable conflict between a human desire for
happiness and a human desire for freedom? Must individuality be diminished for
communal good? Are the problems of actual societies a product of social structures or
are they due to human nature?
In considering these questions raised by utopian theories, we will read both philosophical
and literary sources. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and
analytical debates, to write short papers, and to complete a take-home final exam.